‘Bruv’: Nick Pope criticised by West Ham star for Liverpool red card days before Carabao Cup final
Nick Pope came under criticism from West Ham star Michail Antonio who said the keeper should have thought twice before picking up a red card for Newcastle against Liverpool last weekend.
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West Ham star Michail Antonio criticised Newcastle United keeper Nick Pope for not thinking twice before handling the ball outside the box against Liverpool.
The Magpies goalkeeper rushed out to head a ball in front of the oncoming Mohammed Salah only to misjudge the run and hit the deck. When on the pitch, Pope then handled the ball to keep it out of Salah’s path, for which he received a red card.
Speaking on The Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio couldn’t believe what Pope had done and said he should have just let the Liverpool forward score his side’s third goal rather than jeopardising his role in the Carabao Cup Final.
The Hammers man said: “Bruv, you’re 2-0 down. Let it go. Let them score the third goal.
“I’ve done it myself. Four years ago playing against Watford, I got a yellow card and then - it’s my only red I’ve had in my life - Isaac Success has cut inside, I’ve slipped and as I’ve slipped my hand’s fallen near the ball. Out of the rush and not even thinking, I’ve just slapped the ball away.
"Pope's missing the cup final. Think about his career, think about how long he's been there slugging at Burnley and now he's getting in the cup final."
Newcastle forward Callum Wilson, who co-hosts the podcast on BBC Sounds, shared a more sympathetic view of his teammate.
Wilson admitted that Pope cut a forlorn figure when the side saw him in the dressing room at halftime.
The Magpies man said: "You go in at half time and he's showered and sitting there. You consolidate him and keep your head up, carrying on with the game.
"After the game, everyone was frustrated that we'd lost the game so not many words were spoken anyway.
"He didn't say much. I feel for him, it is what it is."
Eddie Howe is set to turn to backup keeper Loris Karius to feature between the sticks in the final on Sunday. Second-choice Martin Dubravka is cup-tied having appeared for Man Utd this season, and will only pick up a winner's medal should the Red Devils win. Meanwhile, Karl Darlow is on loan at Hull City and unavailable.
It will be the German keeper's debut for Newcastle having not featured since joining in September last year. Eddie Howe has shared his confidence in the man who famously turned in an error-ridden performance in the 2018 Champions League Final for Liverpool.